I did tai chi four times this morning, facing north and south and east and west at the start of each of the four iterations. During the second iteration of the form, and the third, I became disoriented (ha, a Latin pun!) about what was to come next.  This meant that I had to stop and start each of those forms over again.  

It’s funny. I’ve gotten so used to the orientation of the office that when I’m performing tai chi in the ‘wrong’ direction, I lose my place.  That’s part of the reason I started practicing differently; I wanted to be able to change my orientation to the form a little more cleanly and without stressing about it.  Mostly, that worked.  

The other thing that happened during this morning’s practice: I fell.  As in, I lose my balance and toppled over in a heap on the floor.  It was not a very hard fall and I didn’t break or bruise anything.  I was already low to the ground, too. It was during the second/South iteration of the tai chi form.  I was trying to do the inward breath as an inverse breath — I was trying to do the whole form that way — and the combination of internal forces on my abdomen during the sinking-down or squat that happens at the start of Grab the Needle at the sea bottom completely unbalanced me.  I haven’t had a fall like this in my practice in mor than a year. 

It felt great. 

My staff-spinning teacher said once, “if you’re not saying ow on a fairly regular basis, you’re not practicing.” And for all of my talk about tai chi, it’s not often the case that I’m challenged by my own body mechanics any more.  Today I was, and it felt great.  

Afterwards, I performed an extended Druidic meditation and other related work. And now it’s off to school.